Gore's Not In
Editorial Cartoonists React
Former Vice President Al Gore's December 15, 2002 announcement that he would not enter the race was a popular subject for editorial cartoonists.  Based on a review of Darryl Cagle's website and other websites with editorial cartoons, a solid majority of cartoonists working for big papers and news outlets penned art on the subject.  Major themes included Democratic relief, other references to Gore's weakness as a candidate, and other Democratic presidential hopefuls' pleasure in Gore's announcement.  With Christmas coming just 10 days later, quite a few of the cartoons had a Christmas tie-in.  In addition to reacting to the fact of Gore's announcement, some of the artists were able to incorporate in their works references to Gore's personal attributes (for example the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's David Horsey alluded to Gore's woodenness) or his history (for example there were a couple of cartoons based on Gore's infamous "lock box" and the State Journal-Register's Chris Britt penned a sharp-witted work referring to the 2000 Florida post-election debacle).

A total of 43 cartoons on Gore's announcement were found.   List organized alphabetically >>

Organized Roughly by Theme
Democrats' Relief
Jonathan Brown-Deseret News 12/17:
Donkey holding newspaper headline "Gore Not Running" hugs Santa.
Donkey: "Thank you Santa!"

John Cole-The Herald Sun (Durham, NC) 12/17:
Donkey very pleased at 2004 Christmas stocking with "I won't run.-Al" paper in it; Santa going up the chimney.
Donkey: "Oh, joy!!  Santa Gore was here!!"

Steve Greenberg-The Ventura County Star 12/16:
Donkey in bed. Gore in chains, labelled "Ghost of Election Past"
Gore: "I've decided not to haunt you anymore."  Donkey: "Merry Christmas!  God bless us, every one!!"

Walt Handelsman-Newsday 12/16:
Grinning donkey reading newspaper w/ headline "Gore won't run"
Donkey: "Bummer!.."

Vic Harville-Stephens Media Group, Little Rock, AR 12/16:
People on couch watching a TV with cheer sounds coming out of it.
1. "Boy! Those Republicans are really happy about Gore not running in '04..."  2. "Those are Democrats..."

Joe Heller-The Green Bay Press-Gazette 12/16:
Two panels. 1. Smiling donkeys watching Gore on TV-"Saturday Night Live".  2. Cheering donkeys watching Gore on TV "60 Minutes"-"Sunday Night Dead"

Jeff Parker-Florida Today 12/17:
Donkey underneath a Christmas tree opening presents; many, many pairs of socks strewn about, but in front of him are boxed gifts "Al Gore Drops Out Non-Action Figure" and "Trent Lott Gaff Set"
Donkey thinks: "Oh good...for a minute there, I was getting worried..."

Mark Streeter-Savannah Morning News 12/16:
Box labelled "Gore 2004 presidential candidacy"  Caption below says "The Lock Box"
From the box "sigh..."  In corner of drawing, donkey asks cartoonist, "Should I throw away the key?"

Dana Summers-The Orlando Sentinel 12/16:
Gore next to smiling three donkeys and crying Bush.
Gore: "I've decided not to run."

Gary Varvel-The Indianapolis Star-News 12/17:
Donkey holding "No Gore in '04" on glum looking Santa Gore's lap.
Donkey: "This is just what I wanted!"

Dick Wright-Columbus Dispatch 12/17:
Big sign "Gore" with an "N" painted over the "R;" a donkey with paint can is hiding behind the corner of the sign and giving thumbs up.

Weak Support for Gore
Gary Brookins-The Richmond Times-Dispatch 12/17:
Gore just landing on a desert island while a ship sinks in the background.
Gore: "...Therefore I've decided not to seek the presidency in 2004..."

Bob Gorrell-AOL News 12/16:
Two panels.  1. Medium image of Gore.  2. Gore with crutches, casts on both feet, one labelled "support."
1. Gore: "I will not run in 2004..."  2. Gore: "For obvious reasons!"

Kal-Baltimore Sun 12/17:
Gore with concrete bricks on his feet, Lieberman on a treadmill, and two donkeys watching.
Gore: "Joe...  I've decided not to run..."  Donkey: "Al Gore leaves big shoes to fill"

Gary Markstein-Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 12/17:
Al and Tipper Gore in the house, he holds newspaper (headline "Gore says he won't run"); crowd outside w/ GOP button, signs "Gore in 2004," "We Want Al!"
Tipper: "Al, there's a huge crowd out there begging you to reconsider your decision..."

Jack Ohman-The Oregonian 12/17:
Gore looking in mirror (from Saturday Night Live appearance) and donkey on other end of couch.
Gore: "...I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me..."  Donkey: "Two out of three ain't bad..."

Bruce Plante-The Chatanooga Times 12/16:
Two panels. 1. Donkey pats crying figure on back.  2. Figure lifts head--it is an elephant.
Donkey: "Get a hold of yourself man!  Gore not running may be the best thing for the party."  2. Elephant: "That's what I'm afraid of!!!"

Drew Sheneman-Newark Star-Ledger 12/17:
3 panels.  1 and 2. Back view of elephant and man watching TV w/ "Gore Won't Run in 2004" on screen.  3. Front view shows the man is Lott and the elephant is grimacing.
 1. Man: "It's about time he stepped aside."  2. Man: "He's a distraction.  It was starting to hurt his party."  3. Lott: "Some guys just can't take a hint."

John Sherffius-St. Louis Post Dispatch 12/16:
Gore looking in mirror (from Saturday Night Live appearance).
Gore: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, but doggone it, people just don't like me."

Dana Summers-The Orlando Sentinel 12/16:
Gore next to smiling three donkeys and crying Bush.
Gore: "I've decided not to run."

Tom Meyer-San Francisco Chronicle 12/18:
A couple of men talking at a bar and Trent Lott waving to them.
Man 1: "But his departure could really hurt the Republican Party..."  Lott: "I'm not gone yet!"  Man 2: "We were talking about Gore."

Democratic Hopefuls Happy/Opening the Race
Steve Breen-San Diego Union Tribune 12/17:
Daschle, Kerry, Lieberman, Dean, Gephardt, Edwards google-eyed in bed
Radio: "Al Gore has decided not to run in 2004..."  Music above: "Tiny tots, with their eyes all aglow, will find it hard to sleep tonight."

Bill DeOre-The Dallas Morning News 12/17:
Ship named "Other Demo Contenders" w/ donkey on prow halted before a drawbridge waiting for Model T car labelled "Gore" to clear.
Donkey thinks: "Finally!"

David Horsey-Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12/18:
Donkey in inflatable raft going over rapids with big Gore log in foreground.
Box: "The Logjam Breaks..."

Kal-Baltimore Sun 12/17:
Gore with concrete bricks on his feet, Lieberman on a treadmill, and two donkeys watching.
Gore: "Joe...  I've decided not to run..."  Donkey: "Al Gore leaves big shoes to fill"

Jimmy Margulies-The Record 12/17:
Stockings labelled Kerry, Edwards, Daschle, Gephardt, Lieberman and Dean over fireplace.
"...the stockings were hung, all with great care, for they knew Al Gore would no longer be there..."

Bill Mitchell-cnn.com 12/17:
Gore, Lieberman and Kerry in a hot tub.
Gore: "Try to contain your sorrow"

Jack Ohman-The Oregonian 12/18:
6 Panels: 1. "Democrats react to the Gore announcement." 2. Kerry. 3. Lieberman. 4. Edwards.  5. Gephardt.  6. Daschle.

Bush Strength
Chris Britt-The State Journal-Register 12/21:
The U.S. Supreme Court.  Box in the corner identifies it "At Bush Campaign Headquarters"
From out of the columns: "Gore's out?  Bring on the next sucker!"

Chan Lowe-South Florida Sun Sentinel 12/18:
Gore walking away from a guillotine.  At the top are a sign "Election 2004" and a couple of American flags; at the base is a bucket "Any Democratic Candidate."
Gore: "It's time I gave somebody else a chance."

Jim Morin-The Miami Herald 12/18: Bush on surfboard riding huge wave labelled "War" over Gore.
Gore: "I have decided to step down..."

Ann Telneas-Tribune Media Services 12/16:
Gore, Elephant holding stomach, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Gore: "I will not run..."  HRC "...which means I will in 2008."

Liberating Effect on Gore
Nick Anderson-Louisville Courier Journal 12/16:
Two people watching Gore on TV.
Woman: Al Gore's finally learning to 'be himself'"  Man: "He's not running for anything."

Rex Babin-The Sacramento Bee 12/18:
Naked Gore prancing about as two people watch.
Gore: "Free at last!  Free at last!"  People: "Not running for president sure has liberated Al Gore..."

Dwane Powell-Raleigh News & Observer 12/17:
Gore walking past doors with various labels "Farmer Al," "Daper Al," "Erudite Al;" he wears a label "Citizen Al" and is about to flip a switch.
Switch has sign: "Will the last Al Gore to leave please turn out the lights."

Rob Rogers-The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/17:
Man reading "Pinocchio" to his son, who is in bed.  On the bed is newspaper "Gore Won't Run Again; Reveals Funny, Human Side on 'SNL.'"
Man: "It was only when the wooden puppet found the courage to speak the truth from his heart that he turned into a 'real' boy."  Boy: "You mean like Al Gore."

Paucity of the Democratic Field
Jim Borgman-Cincinnati Enquirer 12/18:
Title "Where's Al?"  Donkey on ladder holding crown labelled 2004; very small below are Lieberman, Kerry, and Dean.
Donkey: "Al?"

Matt Davies-The Journal News 12/17:
Donkey at drawing board labelled "The Comprehensive Democratic Leadership Roster."  One name on the list-Al Gore crossed out.
Donkey: "Phew.  That's a load off."

Scott Stantis-The Birmingham News 12/19:
Three panels. 1. Two donkeys discussing matters.  2. Donkeys looking over at Democratic contenders (Edwards, Lieberman, Kerry, Gephardt, and Dean).  3. Two donkeys.
1. One donkey to the other: "Al Gore's not running.  Now what?.."  2. -  3. Second donkey to first: "Well, Mondale's available."

Steve Benson-United Media 12/17:
Two panels with Gore at podium.
1. Gore: "I've already gotten lots of laughs for hosting 'Saturday Night Live"  2. Gore: "...I don't need any more by running for president..."

Bill Day-The Commercial Appeal 12/17:
A Mickey Mouse type hat w/ donkey ears a "Gore in '04" button and "Al" on a hat stand.
Box: "Hanging it up"

Jeff Stahler-The Cincinnati Post 12/16:
Clown with caption "Al Gore...Reinvented"

Not Classified
Rick McKee-The Augusta Chronicle 12/18:
Donkey holding newspaper (headline "Gore won't run in '04") and elephant.
Donkey: "I'm trying to decide if I should be happy or sad..."  Elephant "Me too..."

Scott Stantis-The Birmingham News 12/18:
Donkey clicking lock on lock box.
Donkey: Goodbye, Al..."  From the box: "Sigh..."

Dan Wasserman-Boston Globe 12/16:
Cartoonist with figures of Lott, Gore, Law and Henry K. leaving the drawing board.
Cartoonist (to Lott): "Not you too?!"

Copyright © 2003  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action